Saturday, 1 December 2012

What does World AIDS day mean for you? #wad2012

Today the world observes World AIDS day.

We observe this day in the memory and in honour of the many who have lost their young lives to this pandemic.

We observe this day to pay tribute to the many committed and passionate scientists, virologists, activists, mothers, fathers, brothers, sons, sisters, husbands, wives, children, grandparents, uncles, aunts and friends who incessantly and tirelessly for the last 30 years are fighting against and raising awareness about this pandemic.

We observe this day to fight the infinite ignorance of many who see this pandemic as a stigma.

We observe this day to pay tribute to Willy Rozenbaum who thirty years ago came across a mysterious new syndrome that was taking the lives of young people and the best thing he could do was to ask  Prof Luc Montagnier for a consultation.

We observe this day to pay tribute to two colleagues of Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization,  James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter and their boss Dr Mann who back in August 1987 came up with the idea of observing World AIDS day.

World AIDS day means a lot to me. And this is for a simple reason. I lost a cousin and many friends to this terrible pandemic.

I was angry when I lost them. Angry because at the time, being infected was a death sentence. And this terrible death sentence was not just medical one, it was a social death sentence. And that is what made me furious.

Thirty years later, science has made progress and now those infected have a higher life expectancy - albeit not all over the world.

BUT and there is a big BUT here...... The society has not made much progress. HIV and AIDS is still a stigma and those affected are subject to discrimination.

World AIDS Day message is Getting to Zero. Let's make sure that  getting to zero is not just in terms of infection, but also getting to zero in terms of discrimination. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Sailing rough waters without a compass....

When was the last time you sailed through rough waters?

Sometimes such an adventure can be fun, other times it can be very stressful and draining. I guess the important thing is not to lose your sense of direction, navigate the unfriendly waters in a way that you survive and come out of the experience not badly bruised and hurt.

Sometimes when we are sailing unfriendly waters, we feel lonely, frustrated and irritated. There are many days we are surrounded by dark clouds, thunderstorms and hurricanes and we feel like we have lost our sense of bearing and keep going in circles.

The most annoying thing is that we know we are going in the wrong direction and do not seem to find the compass that can show us the right way.

And it is in these moments that our worse nightmares come true because we get caught in a downward spiral and in a web of negativity.

So how to can one change the trend? What can we do to take off the blindfold so that we find the compass and get back in the groove?

I am not going to suggest to check out the self-help section on Amazon, rather to start looking in your heart, go back to your vocation and passion.

Here is what happened to me. The other day, I was lucky enough to do something that I really enjoy..... I had the pleasure of sharing something I care about and really believe in with a group of people who were craving to learn and achieve something big.

Thanks to this rewarding experience, I realized that the compass was always there and that I was looking for it in the wrong place. I was so caught in the downward spiral that I was unable to see the walls which I could use to crawl back up.

This little miracle made me realize that one should never ever:
  • stop pursuing one's vocation
  • self censor oneself
  • let the negativity and the meanness of mediocre and insecure people bring you down

A good friend of mine, recently told me, "when people want to shoot down your achievements, take it as an honor."

I must admit, only yesterday I really understood the wisdom of this statement.

So what did sailing rough waters without a compass teach me?

I learnt that in these moments there is no need to panic. You have to remember that the compass is in your heart. You need to find your vocation and pursue exactly that, as that is your strength.

I also learnt that one's convictions, principals, values, reasoning and logic can threaten the people around you, and thus as a result they go out of their way to make you become the person you are not.

So the best thing to do is to be true to yourself. Be the real and genuine person that you are.

My biggest take home message is to be true to yourself.... When you see you are falling into a downward spiral, stop, search in your heart and find the one thing you are most passionate about and that gives you most satisfaction and do exactly that.

Last but not least, honor yourself and never let the negativity and envy of others bring you down. You are million times more stronger than them and also worth million times more than them.

Remember, those of us who are true to our convictions, values will never ever sail rough waters without a compass!!!!

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Is social media’s age of innocence over? Is the magic kingdom of social media at risk?

Lately I’ve been wondering to what extent social media has lost its free spirit and soul.

Remember the early days when we all shared our uncensored thoughts on twitter, when we could blog from our heart and show our passion about a topic; the wonderful days when it was safe to be controversial.

With time something has changed and it seem as if we’ve forgotten that social media is about conversations and about giving voice to people.

What is ironic, is that while we praise social media’s power and reach when it topples regimes which are not to our liking we do not do the same when it comes to accepting controversy and listening to opinions which may be different from ours.

Is the age of spontaneity of social media over? Is social media leaving its childhood and entering its adulthood – the age of restrained reasoning?

Are we inadvertently putting a leash on this global megaphone by restraining ourselves to share our personal views, aspirations, frustrations, dreams and ideas in fear of retaliation?

Are we inadvertently transforming the very tool that gave a voice to the voiceless to a lame mainstream mouthpiece?

Have we deliberately blurred the boundaries of private and public to safeguard the interest of the big boys and girls?

I do not know. What I do know is that there is definitely less controversial, thought provoking and innovative ideas floating around social media channels.

What we are seeing is corporations usurping social media channels to push out their products and their messages. I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong in them doing so, provided they are willing to engage in a conversation both with those share and do not share their same ideas, convictions, aspirations and ideologies.

For me the beginning of the end was two years ago when  Octavia Nasr was asked to leave CNN after expressing her personal opinion in a tweet.

Are we – the social media junkies of this world – going to let the rest of the world put a muzzle on us? Can we join forces and commit that we’ll continue to express our ideas freely and respectfully? Can we go back to the early days of social media, the days when we were all spontaneous, the days when we did not worry about social media guidelines and good practices?

Why are we accepting to restrict and restrain ourselves? Social media is our tool. We built our communities around it and with it….. If we do something wrong, the community will let us know. We are accountable to our community and do not need anyone else to tell us what we can and cannot do. Let’s not allow the bad guys invade our magic kingdom!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Fun facts and tidbits from #MashCon

  • Last day of #MashCon, so far Googleplus was only mentioned once at #MashCon

  • Did you know that Saturday morning is the best time to post on Pinterest?

  • Did you know that if you put a + at the end of a link you will get the statistics behind the link?

  • Ran into Pete Cashmore a couple of times, but never saw him with an iPad, or any other hand-held device or a laptop for that matter

  • Only once heard a phone ringing :)

  • Absolutely amazing moments hearing all the #MashCon folks typing on their keyboads the soundbites from .@cindygallop and .@adorvasv talk which were both absolutely awesome and inspiring :)

  • Definitely Apple has the lion share at #MashCon

If you can't explain it in 140 characters, your idea is too complicated! Most popular Tweet from #mashcon

June Cohen, Executive Producer, TED Media
WOW... Day two at Mashable Connect 2012 was an awesome experience. Where to start? We had the privilege of hearing from 14 inspiring and visionary thought leaders.  And suffice to say that despite being jet lagged and have slept only for three hours,  I managed to stay awake and cherish every minute of these 14 stimulating sessions.

I am not going to give a blow by blow of each session, because I would not be able to do justice and will probably I'll end up doing a lousy job.  

I think what I'll do is to share my take away messages from these thought-provoking sessions and share what were some of the common threads. And probably I will do so in installments :)

Evolution of TedTalks
June Cohen (@junecohen) Executive Producer of TED Media shared the behind the scenes and the backstory of TedTalks. Her talk was so inspiring that deserves to feature among the thousand other inspiring TedTalks. I wish she would  post it on TedTalks. 

Did you know that TedTalks started in 1984 and initially it was a techie talk? Is not it incredible how these talks have transformed. This was a great uplifting message. Because it shows that change can happen. June shared how this happened, and in doing so, I think she summarized what ended being the "fil rouge" of the day:
  • feed the hunger of participation
  • encourage sharing - no one has the monopoly of good ideas
  • listen to your users 
  • reach out to people everywhere
  • do not forget to tell a story
  • engage emotionally
  • focus - no butterfly syndrome!
As a development worker, I got so excited when she shared the example of TEDx in the slums of Kibera, just outside of Nairobi in Kenya.  And I almost jumped out of my skin when I heard her talk about the TEDx in a box

June and her colleagues realized that TEDx events are a great learning opportunity and a source of inspiration for people in developing countries. However, lack of infrastructure often prevents them from  organizing such events. This is why they launched the "TEDx in a Box" programme. 

The programme is still in pilot phase. This magic box has a projector, a PA system, a DVD player, batteries and inverter, two camcorders, a tripod, a power strip and an SD card. It comes with a quick guide providing guidance on how to organize events and use the equipment.

It sounds like the best thing after sliced better, and is something that I would like to definitely explore and see how and where we can use it in my organization.

Leslie Berland,
SVP of Digital Partnerships & Development,
American Express
American Express goes digital
Those of us working in big organizations know that it is not always easy to herald in new ideas. 

Leslie Berland, SVP of Digital Partnerships and Development from American Express (@leslieberland) eloquently expressed the challenges we've all faced in her opening remarks: "When a big company enters social media, it's like giving birth". 

Sounds familiar? Leslie shared how American Express shed its old skin and successfully entered the digital and social media world and her nuggets of wisdom are very similar to how June and her colleagues are engaging with their audience at Ted:
  • identify the unmet need. In other words ask yourself, is there a problem to be solved?
  • prioritize the biggest business opportunities
  • drive speed to market. This one is very dear to most of us who have helped our organizations embrace 21st century.
    Leslie talked about the need of changing internal processes to keep up with external realities, to think of what has not been done before and re-imagine how to do things. This very point came out loud and clear, in the afternoon during the futureproofing your brand session with Cindy Gallop.
    Cindy said we need to reinvent our business to do business in the modern world and need to change our business models so that we can engage with our audience. ENGAGE and FOCUS were among the key concepts of the day!
  • maximize leverage. This point too, came out during the futureproofing your brand session, where Cindy talked about the importance of creating and nurturing a community
  • create authentic relationships
Leslie talked about how for eight months, the Amex folks listened to the chatter to find out more about their audience and better understand their needs. Also, as a global organization to make sure their campaign succeeded they involved all their various country offices.

My take home messages from Leslie's talk was to ENGAGE and FOCUS. She said: "90% of our strategy is about what we do not know and what we do not do".  

The bottom line is, if you are going social, you may as well just focus all your energy on going social. As Leslie said, if your campaign is on Facebook, do your advertising there.... This is no-brainer, right? and yet, it seems to be a very hard concept to internalize for many!

She also said: "think like a start-up, be rooted in reality with an eye towards scaling". She then went on to say how important it is to identify those things which are not "non-replicable" and do them and while doing them, forge deep partnerships and stay authentic.

During the question and answer session, Leslie was asked how much Amex spends on its social media presence and how the team was configured. 

No one likes to talk about budgets... Suffice to say, that it was pretty clear that Amex is spending good money on it social presence. She also said that she will never outsource "community development", emphasizing the importance of the business staying close to its client-base. After all is not that called accountability and when you go social, you need to create and nurture a community.

Poter Novelli has done a great job summarizing Leslie's talk. So, make sure you read her blogpost.

#Mashcon soundbite of the day
I need to close this blogpost, or else I will be late. More to come later and I want to do so, with the  soundbite of the day which may be heresy for many... but whether you like it or not this is the reality.... so, just get your head around it!

 "If you can't explain it in 140 characters, your idea is too complicated!" 

Friday, 4 May 2012

Pete Cashmore's vision of the future of digital world #mashcon

The wonderful Mashable team at Mashable Connect 2012
At the prime age of almost 50, last night I felt like a teenager..... No, I did not meet Brad Pitt, but you are not too far off.... I met Pete Cashmore the CEO and founder of Mashable!

I've heard Pete calling himself a geek. However, I believe he is more of a trendsetter than a geek!

Last night in his welcoming and opening remarks at Mashable Connect 2012, he shared his vision for the future of the digital world:

  • goodbye laptops, welcome tablets
  • goodbye mouse and cursor, welcome mobile
  • goodbye content creation, welcome content curation
  • goodbye wallets, welcome mobile money
  • goodbye 20th century hardware, welcome 3D printers and more
  • goodbye Flickr, welcome Instagram
Pete Cashmare, CEO and founder of Mashable,
at Mashable Connect 2012
Now, who in their right mind would challenge anyone of Pete's predications? The millennials, together with social media junkies and open-minded digital inhabitant will probably say NO ONE. 

Yet, there are many people who are stuck in time,  clinging tightly to 20th century way of life and paradigm. 

These people fail to see the opportunities the new digital world offers and can seriously hinder progress.

So, I guess my question is, how can we help the skeptics and those running IT departments to see the future? How can we help them take a bold step and participate in heralding in the future, as opposed to resisting it? How can we make them understand, whether they like it or not, Pete's vision will become reality in 6 weeks time, because the future is just around the corner and not some far-fetched science fiction movie.

If there is anyone out there who has managed to convert the naysayers and skeptics, please share your experience and your bag of tricks.

I for one am looking forward to learn a lot and meet lots of inspiring people at Mashable Connect 2012 and see how I can use what the new digital world offers to enhance my work of development worker.  

Do not miss this unique gathering, follow Mashable Connect 2012 on Twitter #mashcon.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Mission accomplished: Found convincing indicators to assess impact of networks #kmers

Ever since I embarked on knowledge management and knowledge sharing journey, I've been struggling to find convincing metrics to assess impact of KM/KS activities. In October 2009, I wrote this blogpost: "KM search and rescue operation: Looking for intelligent and KM-enabled indicator!" and got some good feedback. But it still was not quite the convincing indicators I was looking for.

What do you I mean by convincing indicators?  I mean metrics that make sense, metrics that show progress, metrics that combine both qualitative and quantitative aspects.

I am not a great indicator fan. I believe indicators detract attention from the bigger scope. They are very much like this faceless street artist.

Nonetheless, the type of business I am in, requires that we measure our activities and show the impact we are making. And ever since when I've been trying to find convincing indicators for KM/KS related activities.

So you can imagine my excitement while reading Collaboration  by Morten T. Hansen  to come across convincing indicators to measure impact of networks!!! Hansen's book is based on years of research. The book itself is a gem, especially the last chapter where he takes you on a personal journey and acting as coach shows you how to become a collaborative leader.

In this book, Hansen argues that goal of collaboration is to achieve greater results. He identifies the following as barriers to collaboration:

  • not-invented here barrier
  • factors contributing to hoarding
  • search barrier
  • transfer barrier
He makes the case that no collaboration is better than bad collaboration. He argues that for collaboration to happen leaders need to unify people and to do that they:

  • must craft a compelling unifying goal that makes people commit to a cause greater than their own individual goals
  • should pair competition on the outside of the company with collaboration on the inside. People who unite to compete against a common foe are juiced up by competing and by collaborating
  • should not talk competition, but collaboration and collaboration for results
Then he goes on to explain how to build nimble networks and it is in this chapter that after many years I had an aha moment. I finally came across a convincing way to measure the impact of networks.

Hansen starts of by saying:
  • too much networking may be distractive
  • networking is costly because it takes time and effort to nurture relationships (this is if you are serious about it and want to do it well)
  • for networks to be valuable, their benefits need to be greater than the costs
  • secret of networking is to build result-based networks based on disciplined collaboration
He then proceeds to say that networks are good for identifying opportunities to take something further and to capture value and in doing so, effective networks need to reduce the collaboration barriers mentioned above. 

Hansen provides a framework with six network rules, which I see as great indicators to measure success of KM/KS networks. The first four are used to assess the impact of network vis-a-vis identifying opportunities and the last two to capture the value of networks.
  • build outward, not inward: to overcome the not-invented barrier, networks need to build many more outward ties than inward ones. One of the indicators is to measure how much undisciplined collaboration there is. Is there too much networking, too much butterfly syndrome, jumping from one thing to another without concluding anything?
  • build diversity, not size: to overcome search barrier you need to build a network based on diversity. In networks numbers do not count. What is important is the diversity of connections. You need connections that tap into diverse things and diverse people. This is what leads to more innovative products. Hansen challenges us that when we engage in professional relationship we should ask ourselves what diversity does this new contact bring me. He then proceeds to say that disciplined collaboration means adding contacts that bring more diversity into your network. And this too is a great indicator to measure the impact of networks
  • build weak ties, not strong ones: now how counterintuitive can one get. And yet, there is so much wisdom in this statement and this too is a superb indicator. Hansen makes the point that weak ties prove to be much more helpful in networking because they form bridges to world we do not walk within. His argument is that strong ties are to worlds we know and he is very right about this. Building weak ties contributes to overcome the search barrier
  • use bridges, not familiar faces: good networking means knowing who the real bridges are and to use them. Bridges are typically long-tenured people who have worked in different places and know about a broad range of topics. A successful network needs to have enough people performing bridging role. Using bridges and not familiar faces is another tactic to overcome the search barrier
  • swarm the target; do not go it alone: Hansen's advice here is if you believe the target identified in a search may not be forthcoming, enlist the help of others to convince the target. In other words swarm the target with influencers, people who are in position to exert influence and get your contacts to work on your behalf, appeal to common good and invoke reciprocity. If you want to measure the impact of your network, you should ask yourselves, how many times you've turned to your network members and asked them to do something on your behalf and how many times they did it for you. Hansen associates this as a remedy for the hoarding barrier
  • switch to strong ties; do not rely on weak ones: he finishes of his six network rules by providing a remedy to transfer barrier and making the point that to ensure easy transfer you need strong ties between team members so that they can trust each other and transfer complicated knowledge, which in KM language translates to good old tacit knowledge

I must say, I am thrilled to have have finally found convincing and sound indicators for measuring the impact of networks. I now believe it is possible to find equally good indicators for other KM/KS aspects. The dilemma is whether anyone can do so, or whether we need another Morten Hansen with years of research experience to come up with equally convincing indicators.

The real leadership lessons of Steve Jobs

Six months after the untimely loss of Steve Jobs, Harvard Business Review in their April edition gave some space to Walter Isaacson to write about "The real leadership lessons of Steve Jobs".

Isaacson's piece is definitely a must read for Jobs fans,  for those who believe Jobs had too many dark sides and for those who have the mental flexibility and willingness to learn what it takes to be a visionary and a perfectionist.

Isaacson starts his piece by saying that "Jobs acted as if normal rules didn't apply to him and the passion, intensity and extreme emotionalism he brought to everyday life were things he also poured into the products he made." He continues to say that Jobs "petulance and impatience were part and parcel of his perfectionism".

There is a lot of wisdom in these statements. These behaviours may not be in-line with a lot of modern management dogmas. And this very true. Here we are not talking about management but LEADERSHIP and a VISIONARY LEADERSHIP. This is the difference. This is the difference between Steve Jobs and the rest of the world!!!

Isaacson then proceeds to talk about 14 leadership lessons of Steve Jobs:

  • Focus: Jobs was a great advocate of filtering out distractions and keep focus. When Larry Page went to visit Jobs, this is what he had to tell him: "You are all over the map, focus on few things, you're turning Google into Microsoft and its dragging you down". Page being Page, listened to Jobs and as a result today Google is focusing on Android and Google+. And Page has committed to make these two beautiful the way Jobs would have done!
  • Simplify: Jobs was great at zeroing in on the essence and eliminating the unnecessary components. This is why what ever he has created is functional and elegant. He believed "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" and he was damn right. He also recognized that "it takes a lot of hard work to make something simple and come up with an elegant solution, because to be truly simple you have to go really deep". This is great lesson, especially for all those folks out there who love all sorts of bells and whistles and believe that the more complicated something is, the better it is.
  • Take responsibility end to end: Here is a big one for all those who fail to understand the importance of integration. Jobs was a master for elegant integration. He integrated hardware, software and peripheral devices. This made "Apple ecosystem a sublime experience like walking in the Zen gardens of Kyoto". And those lucky ones who live in the Apple ecosystem can testify to this. We love this sublime experience and feel the torture and abuse when we are forced to take a walk outside of the Apple sublime ecosystem.
  • When behind, leapfrog: This is what Jobs did with iPod and later with iPhone. He cannibalized iPod sales by creating iPhone and he said: "if we do not cannibalize ourselves someone else will".
  • Put products before profit: If there is one leadership lessons that big IT companies should learn, is this one. Jobs focused on making the product great. He used to say if the product is great, profits will follow. And he was right. Look what happened to Sony after Apple put out iPod. In the development world, this would translate into putting the mission of the organization before donor demands.
  • Don't be slave to focus groups: Boy, oh Boy, if I do not love this..... "You need intuition and instinct about desires that have not yet formed" was Jobs mantra. "Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page". This is why he was visionary and inspired people. He believed "intuition is more powerful than intellect" and yet again he was damn right. 
  • Bend reality: This is one of  my all time favourites along with push for perfection and tolerate only "A" players (see below). And these are amongst the things for which I often get into trouble, but you know what it is worth it. Jobs used to say: "have people do the impossible". Everything is possible!!!!
  • Impute: Now you are probably wondering what the hell is this all about. As a perfectionist, Jobs believed in the importance of packaging because he said "it sets the tone for how you perceive the product" and yet again he was right. Would you like to receive a product in a carton box, or in an elegant box, as if you were receiving a precious piece of jewelry? 
  • Push for perfection: Jobs believed in hitting the pause button to ensure perfection. Many times he stopped development process and delayed launch of products, because he was pushing for perfection and he was never wrong. "You need to love the creation". He was a true artist and had his engineers sign in their names on their works, and this made them go proud of their creation - just like Michelangelo, Monet, Matisse, Picasso, Botichelli, Hockney, Hirst.
  • Tolerate only "A"  players: Jobs was not the polite type with mediocre people.  "If something sucks, I'll tell people to their face. It's my job to be honest". Jobs was an inspiring leader and he created groundbreaking products and believed in accomplishing the impossible. He could not have done all of this with mediocre people, this is why he only tolerated "A" players. Quite frankly this is what all great leaders do - tolerate "A" players only!
  • Engage face-to-face: Despite being a computer geek, Jobs believed strongly in face-to-face interaction and the fact that creativity comes from spontaneous meetings and random discussions. This is why good leaders encourage people to get out of their offices and mingle. They promote collaboration and creativity. Another of the many great traits of Jobs was the fact that he fostered free flowing meetings with no agenda and no powerpoints.... "People who know what they're talking about do not need Powerpoint". Next time you are in a meeting and someone stands up to deliver a powerpoint presentation, bend the reality and tell them to do so without the slide deck!!! 
  • Know both the big picture and the details: This was one of the many unique traits of Jobs. He had a vision and at the same time had a great eye for details and I mean minute details. He saw the computer as a "digital hub" and the moved this to the "cloud" and while he was laying down this grand vision, he fretted over the colour and shape of screws....... This is how much he cared about the PRODUCT and not profit, this is how much he pushed for PERFECTION and was obsessed with IMPUTE!
  • Combine humanities with sciences: This one is something that IT geeks just do not get it. Jobs connected humanities to sciences, creativity to technology, arts to engineering. It was thanks to this  combination that he created creative edge in the future. "No one else in our era could better firewire together poetry and processors in away that jolted innovation".
  • Stay hungry, stay foolish: This is a soundbite from Jobs' 2005 Stanford commencement speech. It is more than just a soundbite. It was Jobs' way of life. Be a hippie, be a nonconformist, be artistic, be enlightened, be rebels and troublemakers. Jobs' behaviours reflected contradictions and confluence. 
Jobs believed in putting round pegs in the square holdes and described himself:"while some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do" and HE DID IT. He changed the world and he did it an inspiring way!

Will the world be fortunate enough to have another Steve Jobs in the near future? We'll see. In the meantime, we have to count our blessings for having benefited from his genius and cherish his legacy. May he inspire real leaders and convert less open-minded ones to see the light!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Thanks to DJ Titus Twish, a slice of #sfrome makes it to The Economist

One of the best moments of the week, is when I get around to read one of the latest issues of The Economist, as typically I have to catch up with two and sometimes three issues!

What ever the case may be, I love that fraction of a second when I go the pile in my room and pick the latest issues, because I know I’ll be spending a couple of gratifying hours.

The readers of IFAD Social Reporter blog will remember our coverage of the Second Global AgriKnowledge Share Fair and Rob Burnet’s keynote address “Sex and Money”. 

So you can imagine how thrilled I was when in reading the Christmas issue of The Economist, I came across the story entitled “Kenya and Charles Dickens: Great expectations - Some parts of Kenya can justly be called Dickensian”. 

In this issue, The Economist covered the story of  DJ Titus Twist -  the very person at the heart of Rob's keynote speech. The very person who kept 400+ participants in a state of awe for over 40 minutes. The very same person who came to life thanks to the artistic talent and creativity of our very own Nancy White.

I was so happy that the story of DJ Titus Twist had made it to The Economist! Kudos to Well Told Story, kudos to Shujaaz, kudos to DJ Titus Twish, and kudos to Rob and all the team.

And as I was reading the article, I thought to myself thanks to DJ Titus, a slice of Share Fair and #sfrome also made it to The Economist!

For those who missed Rob Burnet’s keynote address: “Sex and Money”, you can remedy by watching the inaugural ceremony of the Share Fair. Rob’s keynote is around 50th minute to the recording.   
Also make sure you read the blogposts from our army of social reporters and check out issue 3 of the Daily Corriere
For us at IFAD, the Share Fair was one of the many highlights of 2011. We would like to finish the year by paying tribute to all our keynote speakers -  Etienne Wenger, Rob Burnet, Mark Davies and Michele Payn-Knoper; to our army of social reports; to the insightful presenters; to the wonderful facilitators; to our sister-agencies; to the steering committee members; to all our partners; to the 700+ participants who for four days energized our building, to the volunteers  and to the wonderful share fair support team, who on 21 December received one of the 2011 staff awards,  for their instrumental role in making this event such as memorable one.

In closing, we wish you all a Happy New Year. May 2012 be a peaceful and prosperous one for everyone and let's join forces to keep the spirit of #sfrome alive.